Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan to visit Kabul on an official visit on April 6: sources

Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan to visit Kabul on an official visit on April 6: sources

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi would visit Kabul in early April, a diplomatic source said on Sunday.

At talks with National Security Adviser (NSA) Nasser Khan Janjua,Ghani invited Premier Shahid Khaqan to visit Kabul and sought Pakistan’s cooperation on bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table.

In response to the invite, Abbasi would fly to Afghanistan’s capital on April 6 for a daylong visit -- his first trip to the war-torn country since taking over as prime minister.

“Overcoming the lingering trust deficit between the neighbours, joint action against the scourge of terrorism, enhanced trade links and ways of ending the conflict will be high on the agenda,” one official said.

Familiar with preparations for the trip, the source in Foreign Office said that Abbasi would urge his interlocutors to share their concerns with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.

He said the prime minister, while seeking an end to testy exchanges between the neighbours, would propose an early resumption of high-level visits to boost Afghan-Pakistan relations.

“Defense Minister Khawaja Asif will make a similar pitch at the upcoming conference in Afghanistan in Tashkent,” said the source, who did not want to be named.

The Taliban must respond positively to Ghani’s offer of open-ended peace talks, the official stressed, calling for inter-state dialogue on improvement of bilateral relations.

Representatives of the US, Russia, India, China, Iran, Central Asian and Gulf nations, as well as the United Nations, will attend next week’smeeting and explore ways of stabilising Afghanistan.